TESL - Teaching English as a Second Language

Volume 1: 2021.2022

Effective 1 June 2021 through 31 May 2022

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

Course Descriptions

TESL 5030 Language History, Planning and Policy (3)

This course provides an overview of natural language change and applies general linguistics, sociolinguistics and World Englishes to language diversity in the United States and English around the world. With a focus on language planning and policy, this course helps students explore relevant laws and policies that affect English language instruction and then prepares students to write their own original language planning and policy proposal in order to meet the needs of learners they currently serve or will serve.

TESL 5040 Practicum in ESOL (3)

This practicum is a culminating experience that provides students an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in prior TESL coursework through differentiated curriculum development, demonstrated classroom teaching and collaboration with other teachers and administrators. Students submit a portfolio of unit lesson plans that demonstrate skills in ESOL methods, curriculum design and language assessment practices that can meet the needs of diverse learners in today's classrooms. Students will also be assessed based on their reflection, classroom observations and professionalism. Prerequisite: Candidacy.

TESL 5139 English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Methods (3)

This course provides an overview of methods for teaching English to speakers of other languages with a focus on the "four skills" of reading, writing, listening and speaking; the use of authentic materials; and the integration of technology. Students will develop instructional materials to meet the needs of English learners to help them acquire and practice aspects of the English language while differentiating instruction and assessment to meet the needs of diverse learners.

TESL 5200 Independent Study (3)

MA students with special interests or needs not met by existing curricula may request that a faculty member supervise an independent study. Together the student and faculty member decide the content of the study and the criteria for evaluation. In no case can an independent study be set up when an existing course already treats the subject. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: Permission of the program director. 

TESL 5220 Curriculum Development in Second Language Classrooms (3)

This course applies a curriculum-planning process to the second or foreign language classroom. Students will develop lesson plans and curricula that address both content and language objectives; that differentiate instruction based on learner proficiencies and differences; and that track and assess learners' comprehension, acquisition and performance based on planned instructional activities. 

TESL 5230 Second Language Acquisition (3)

This course explored theories and perspectives of second language acquisition. Students will analyze and compare first and second language learning with a particular focus on cognitive, emotional and sociocultural perspectives. Students will learn to collect data on language learners in order to make research-based decisions to inform language instruction and assessment. 

TESL 5311 Principles and Practices of Language Testing (3)

This course introduces and analyzes different formats and types of language assessments as a reflection of varies linguistic contexts, language teaching and language acquisition goals. Assessment techniques, practices and procedures are discussed in terms of test validity and reliability, in addition to formative and summative assessment practices. Students will learn to develop, critique and modify testing items, procedures and materials in order to benefit the diverse needs of English language learners. 

TESL 5350 Language and Culture (3)

Culture greatly affects communication and the kind of language used in various situations. This course focuses on both the different styles of communication found across different cultures and the strategies that speakers use when communicating within their own culture. Special attention is paid to the role of Pragmatics and the use of “speech acts” in communication. Students will develop classroom materials that will help learners acquire the pragmatics skills they need to be successful communicators today.

TESL 5710 Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers (3)

This course introduces modern English grammar, as well as modalities of including it in the day-to-day language instruction. It is designed to provide the adult ESL/EFL teacher with a knowledge base of various English structures, with regard to syntax (i.e., form), semantics (i.e., meaning), and pragmatics (i.e., use). Special emphasis is given to the development of fun, communicative and interactive lesson plans and activities, which target specific grammar points while meeting various test standards (e.g., MOSPE, TESOL and TOEFL). Theory and research is concentrated in the areas of SLA, Methodology, and Assessment. Prerequisite: Candidacy or permission.

TESL 5720 Teaching English Pronunciation (3)

Teaching English pronunciation to non-native speakers of English is often one of the most intimidating tasks facing an ESL teacher. This course takes students through the consonant and vowel systems of English, with focus on describing proper articulation and developing pedagogical materials. Special attention is paid to "suprasegmental features" in English, which are the stress, rhythm, and intonation patterns that can more affect intelligibility. Students will design pronunciation materials and conduct a textbook analysis. Prerequisite: Candidacy or permission.

TESL 5730 Materials Development for Language Classrooms (3)

This course introduces digital literacy and its application in language teaching. It assists candidates to create hands-on teaching materials for both face-to-face and online courses in language classrooms. The course focuses on creating mini-lessons using handouts, descriptive packets, cartoons, animations, movies, video games, youtube, vimeo, mobile apps, social networking sites, and other web-enhanced materials. The main emphasis is on using new technologies to create engaging teaching and learning activities. Candidates will develop a digital portfolio, which will be useful for their job interviews and conference presentations. The course should benefit all TESL candidates, Communication Arts students, and foreign language education candidates.

TESL 5740 English for Academic Purposes (3)

In this course, students will build the necessary academic English skills for the successful completion of graduate-level coursework in a U.S. university program. Students will also reflect on the course activities and consider how they might use similar activities in their future teaching. 

TESL 5750 Special Institute in TESL (3)

Webster offers various institutes to provide a wide range of workshop experiences and contemporary topics within the teaching English as a second language program. Detailed current information appears in the specific semester course offerings. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

TESL 5760 English for Specific Purposes (3)

In order to prepare teacher candidates to meet the needs of English learners in varied contexts (content classrooms, business English, scientific writing and research, high-stakes testing preparation, etc.), this course in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is designed to prepare teacher candidates to conduct needs analyses, develop innovative lessons and courses, design needs-focused materials and respond dynamically to meet the needs of varied ESP learners. 

TESL 6250 Thesis (3)

The student completes a thesis project under faculty supervision. The thesis option is recommended for those considering graduate study at a doctoral level. All theses must follow university guidelines and be deposited at the Webster University library. All teaching English as a second language theses must follow both university guidelines and the additional specific guidelines for teaching English as a second language. The student pursuing the thesis option initially registers for a minimum of 3 credit hours, and subsequently maintains a minimum enrollment of 3 hours until the thesis is completed. Most students need more than one semester to finish the thesis. A maximum of 12 credit hours may be applied toward the graduate degree, with appropriate approvals. Credit for the thesis and thesis project is awarded in a non-letter grade format (Credit/No Credit). Prerequisite: Permission from the director of the TESL program is required. Co-requisite: TESL 6900.

TESL 6900 University Thesis Requirement (0)

Required of all MA students completing a thesis project. All theses must follow university and departmental guidelines and be deposited in the Webster University library. Recognizes successful completion of all the thesis requirements. Prerequisite: Permission from the director of the TESL program. Co-requisite: TESL 6250.